MOLSHEIM, FRANCE – French hypercar maker Bugatti is looking set for an electric future, following reports that Volkswagen plans to sell the brand to electric hypercar specialist Rimac.
The UK’s Car Magazine says its sources have confirmed that Volkswagen executives have already approved the deal, but the supervisory board still needs to sign it off.
Rimac is a Croation company that put its name on the map by creating the world’s first electric hypercar back in 2011. This initial model, the Concept One, was more recently followed up by the even more potent C_Two.
If the deal goes ahead, it would almost certainly mean an all-electric future for Bugatti, but that doesn’t mean that its hypercars will lose their manic performance edge. If anything the opposite is true. Consider that the Rimac C_Two’s four electric motors collectively produce 1408kW and 2300Nm, which is enough to get it from 0-96km/h in 1.85 seconds and from 0-160km/h in just 4.3s.
By comparison, Bugatti’s W16 petrol engine produces 1103kW and 1600Nm.
But why does VW want to sell Bugatti?
According to Car Magazine, the German auto giant no longer wants to throw money and resources at so-called ‘hobby brands’ that were acquired under former boss Ferdinand Piech – particularly in the wake of its massive post-Dieselgate electrification drive.
Another motivation would be to give the VW Group a bigger share in Rimac, which many have hailed as the Tesla of Europe. Porsche, which is also owned by VW, currently holds a 15.5 percent stake in Rimac, and it’s likely that Bugatti will serve as a bargaining chip to increase its share.
Nothing is official yet, but expect an announcement soon. But it also begs the question – if VW wants to off-load Bugatti, could other niche brands such as Lamborghini and Bentley also face the same fate?